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19 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The Best Music Movie Since Spinal Tap, 19 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a saying in Spanish which goes "de músico poeta y loco, todos tenemos un poco" (of musician, poet and crazy, we all have a bit). It doesn't matter how many times you've heard your mother say this, however if you come up to them and tell them you've chosen to make your life out of music, they'll probably ask you if you wish to starve to death. And sadly, so it is, there are two sides to this really complex lens, only most of the times we only hear about the successful image selling rock star, with thousands of albums sold under his belt. Although recognized by some big figures of the heavy metal genre, Anvil falls on the second group. A second group where guys start young and the same level as their peers, sometimes they happen to be more lucky than some and enjoy their Warholian minutes of fame, but fail to capitalize on the level Metallica or Slayer have so well done, and finally end up giving up on their dream. Here exactly, is where Anvil so much differs.

I bet you can't even picture James Hetfield driving the vegetable van in order to bring bread to his family table, or can you even think when was the last time Metallica had to worry about their concert attendance to one of their shows? Already on their fifties, Anvil have been around producing albums for more than 20 years, without any major breakthrough. This long and productive career couldn't have worked without the friendship shared by singer Lips and drummer Robb, they have just refused to give up, and here is where the director, finds his reason to tell their story. A story which starts with their messy Europpean tour, the recording of their 13th album and its *SPOILER WARNING* Spinal Tap-esquire final. A final which gives us the final excuse into an unavoidable comparison to the classic fake band from the 1984 rockumentary. The director is a fan though, and he really doesn't want to make fun of the band, however he did wisely in not cutting some hilarious footage with which you can't help but smile and laugh, like when the band goes through playing a German gig for four people, keep having transportation problems, or having the lead singer working as a phone seller, in order to collect enough money to finance their next effort.

This movie is a lesson on human perseverance and friendship, and it's really entertaining, making it the best music movie since Spinal Tap, it is these qualities which makes this movie an enjoyable experience even if you're not really into heavy metal music. I had not heard about Anvil before, but this is exactly the audience to whom it is aimed, and when the movie ends, you will not be able to not feel sympathy for the band, wish for their success and feel happy that this movie can give the band the honor they haven't accomplished on 13 albums.

This is the Stuff of Which Dreams are Made of, 16 September 2009

Just by reading the name, you can't help but become interested in this movie. Both words awake a feeling of intrigue within us. Malta is such a little known country for most of us, and the falcon is such a grand animal, that we just rub our hands in expectations, and even more nowadays, since back then, both Boggart, and debuting director John Huston were mostly unknown.

By the end of the movie, Spade (Boggart) will not be the only name you'll remember, because event though he dominates the screen by just being there, it is this wonderful portrayal of a detective which remains in our memories, and which has served as a role model for all detective characters after him. The rest of the cast is also perfectly chosen, specially by the newcomer screen actor Sydney Greenstreet, who plays Kasper Gutman, the fat guy, and another role model for villains in movies from James Bond to Mission Impossible. Cairo, portrayed by Peter Lorre, fits perfectly on his role, having that aura of queerness and ambition for the valuable artifact, and of course Mary Astor, even though her romance with Spade is not completely believable. The real magic of the cast relies on the chemistry all this actors share on screen, specially on the final scene.

John Huston portrays for the first time on his career what greed can lead people to do and makes us cheer up for the Boggart character, whom even though is not an entirely politically correct character, still manages to appear heroic in our eyes.

Hollywood might be very different if this movie didn't exist.

Discover the Treasure of Sierra Madre, 16 September 2009

I can't recall exactly where on on which movie I had heard a reference about The Treasure of Sierra Madre, which I thought had spoiled the movie for me. That was months ago, when I was back home in Honduras, now I'm a year in Finland and I'm enjoying the selection of movies at the local library. And the best? Rent's all for free!

At first I had trouble with translations and checking for subtitles, but then I found this movie and didn't doubt in taking it. The Treasure of Sierra Madre tells us the story of two American beggars living in a Mexican city, and how they embark in an adventure in search of gold, where they find the wilderness, bandits, an uninvited guest and the terrible greed for gold, which is the movie's main theme.

How can human economy be based on something which is not even edible? Gold is useless, but for what it means in our society, it can turn people crazy. As the movie unfolds we watch how the usually heroic Boggart succumbs to his own greed, in contrast to Curtin and the old man.

Casting and performances are terrific. Boggart is on his best shape and Tim Holt is on the same level, as well as the Academy Award performance Walter Huston, whose son also won two very well deserved Oscars, for the movie keeps you thrilled throughout its running time and the location filming at Mexico, was a great choice. The town scenes are very tasty and give us the American view of Mexico on the late 1940s, which tends to be stereotypical but portraying both the bandit Zapatist revolutionary and the common good faithed village people.

The Treasure of Sierra MAdre is definitely a treasure you should find, in case you haven't discovered it yet.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not exactly a review, but a personal statement, 4 July 2009

I've always enjoyed a good musical movie, since it mixes my two favorite hobbies; that is, well, music & movies. Having heard two quotes on this movie the same week, I decided to rent it. Apart from these reasons, this movie also happens to star an actor whose work I have gotten interested since watching "Been John Malkovich", John Cusack.

But this is not a musical movie; this is a romantic comedy which just happens to feature a main character who owns a record store, the store opposing poles clerks and the independent artist Marie de la Salle.

I'm not going to put myself as a victim, but life has treated me so bad, I'm unable to fully enjoy a romantic film. Whether its Titanic, The Notebook or As Good as it Gets, it just doesn't make me feel right to watch one of these movies all alone. So unless you have a partner with whom to watch it or are not as tragic as me when it comes to loneliness, you might just enjoy this movie.

That is exactly why, I can't say I fully enjoyed this film, but I'll still rated with 7/10; plus the musical environment does help, so if you and your partner have a musical background, the movie will become exponentially better.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Monument to the Unknown Soldiers, 30 May 2009

I often complain how many war movies are out there. Many of them have not manage to be kept in memory, and the ones that have, are mainly about Vietnam. Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now and Platoon are all set in Vietnam, so this was the first time I was going to watch a movie set on WWII.

Flags of Our Fathers is Clint Eastwood's view of this war, and the special episode of the island of Iwo Jima, from the point of view of American Soldiers. Soldiers who had to live their lives behind in order to fight for their country.

"Heroes are the ones who died there", say the returned soldiers from the picture of the movie poster, picture which has been taken by the government in order to finance the war. This movie does not only bring us the suffering and things soldiers have to deal with when they find themselves away from home, but also that what happens when they returned, is not always the way they had imagined it to be.

Great movie, and a good recommendation if this is in your war movies you haven't yet watch. I'm looking forward in seeing 2 Letters From Iwo Jima.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant Story of a Brave Woman, 7 November 2008

I live in a Central America country called Honduras. In here, as in any country around the world, there exists the idea of masculism, or the idea that men are superior to women. My father gives a course on which he advices men living in the rural area of the country that this idea taught to them since childhood is wrong.

A dynamic way to give the course is showing them a movie about the topic being dealt. This not only catches their attention, but it makes them relate situations and characters on the movie with some in real life, in order to find solutions to these problems. Director Niki Caro has proved to be a good storyteller on this field. 2002 "Whale Rider" gave us a more family aimed fantasy film, but this time, Caro takes a real life story about the sexual harassment women working on an iron mine had to live through. The story centers on Academy Award nominated character Josey Aimes, played by Charlize Theron. Josey's situation is quite more serious since she is the new meat on the mine, and also has to deal with problems in her family, specially with her teenage son, who dislikes the idea of Josey's new boyfriend. Josey plans suing the company for negligence, but her co-workers fear what will be their outcome if they lose the trial, and neglect to support her on her mission to establish reasonable working conditions on the mine. The movie keeps your attention throughout its whole running time, giving a story of how one woman can stand against the whole society we live in.

Probably the most original film of the last years, 6 November 2008

Been John Malkovich catches your attention since the moment you read its title. It is a strange title for a movie, and even more when you, like the characters in the movie, have heard the name of the actor but are not able to name any of his movies. If you consider the title to be kind of original, wait until you read the plot. Craig Schwarz (John Cusack) is a failed street puppeteer, married to Lotte (Cameron Diaz, Yes its her!!) , an animal loving woman.

Craig realizes he cannot make a living out of his work and decides to look for a job, as a filer. The peculiarity of this office is it is located on the floor seven and a half. Here he meets his boss, and Maxine (Catherine Keener), the latter with whom he happens to fall in love, but is not corresponded. Things start getting even weirder (at least for us, since the characters seem to take it lightly) when Craig discovers a secret door that leads into John Malkovich's head, lets you live through his point of view and then throws you out to a road outside of Jersey. Craig is amazed by his experience and decides to set up an after work business, where people pay $200 for being John Malkovich. Maxine becomes his business partner, but is also having plans of her won. This is an amazing movie for me to spoil since it shows you scenarios you would have never thought about, without leaving you confused at what is happening.

The movie's main attraction is its originality, since I can't think of a similar movie (maybe Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by the same screen player), plus its cast is really good and it gives you the chance to know and watch a little about an untypical form of art like puppetry.

25th Hour (2002)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great but not Essential, 6 November 2008

Im not really aware about the US judicial system, but it does cal my attention the fact a drug dealer already found guilty of his crime is left with some additional days of freedom. I had previously watched "American History X" and loved it, therefore "25th Hour" was recommended to me. Not only because both of them feature great performances by Edward Norton, whom by now has a place in the list of my favorite actors, but also because of the subject dealt. Both movies share the topic of crime, how a character is involved and how he regrets of his doings, when its already too late.

25th Hour introduces us to Monty (Norton), a drug dealer that even though has already been found guilty is left to turn himself to jail in the period of three days. Apart from the scary future destined to pretty boys in jail, as the own movies says, Monty needs to deal with the apparent fact that his girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) was the one who exposed him.

Apart from this main story, the movie enriches itself with the appearances of Monty's longtime friends, Jacob (Phillip Seymour-Hoffman) and Frank (Barry Pepper). Even though their relationships have deteriorated since Monty got into the business, he still acknowledges them as his best friends. Specially to note is Hoffman's character, who is a teacher whom has fallen in love with one of his students (Anna Paquin). The movie deals on how the friends blame themselves on not trying too hard to keep their friend off the wrong track and how her girlfriend stopped trying to help after enjoying the economical benefits the business meant. Even though the movie is slow-paced, it features good acting, good cinematography and great dialogs. The movie does have some flaws, like some unclear flashbacks, some loose ends and the slow pace which might bore someone who wasn't caught by the first half hour of the film. Its not an essential movie, but if you happen to intercept it on cable TV or it happens to be on your video rental, then, I would suggest you watch it.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Choose Life, Choose Trainspotting, 21 October 2008

Whenever we meet someone new, or want to have a conversation with someone we don't know that much, we constantly rely on hobbies. People ask questions like "What do you do on your free time?" or "What is your favorite song?". But the toughest question to ask somebody is what their favorite movie is. A non-regular movie-goer might not have a bad time answering. A girl might go for The Notebook or Titanic, while a male might chose Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or any action flick. I personally have trouble deciding among Clockwork Orange or Pulp Fiction, but my favorite movie of all time must be Trainspotting. Trainspotting is a Scottish movie, based on a book by the same name and starting Ewan McGregor as Renton. Although he is the movie's main focus, we meet other characters who enrich the cinematic experience. Sickboy, Spud, Swanney, Tommy, Diane, and Begby. Most of these guys with a little problem, they're heroin addicts. Some try to quit and others join in the process. The movie clearly portrays all the risks and disadvantages of being involved in this world and the negative things it eventually leads to, but, at the same time, the characters never deny the satisfaction that this vice gives to them. "Take the best orgasm you've ever had... multiply it by a thousand, and you're still nowhere near it", Renton narrates at some point in the movie. The real reason why this is my favorite movie is simply because your average friend can watch it and know for certain that he has seen an excellent movie. He will not be confused by Pulp Fiction, or distressed by A Clockwork Orange. Certainly it is a movie you should see if you still haven't. It gets you glued to your sit until the fabulous ending. The soundtrack is also a highlight, featuring songs from artists such as Blur, Brian Eno, Pulp, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and of course Underworld, with its memorable song, Born Slippy, all placed in perfect timing with the movie's screening. So next time you go to your video rental, "Choose Life", choose Trainspotting.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders, 15 August 2008

How many times, have we as humans wished to forget someone. Maybe an uncorresponding love, a relative who has passed away or a long time girlfriend who is going to study outside the country. Maybe not a person, but a shameful situation, that time you made a fool on stage or when you just couldn't contain a gas any longer. Now imagine that by a medical treatment you would be able to forget, just like that. That is what happens to Joel's (Jim Carey) girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet).

When Joel finds out she has decided to forget him, he decides to undertake the same process in order to erase Clementine out of his mind.

Joel goes home and goes to sleep, the therapists then come in to apply the treatment. Joel will experience each of his memories involving Clementine in a reverse chronological order, from his last memory until the day he met her. Here we are transported into Joel's mind and at this point is were the expression "Don't know what you have until its gone" is applied. Joel finds out he does love CLementine and has now to try to stop a delete process which is no longer under his control.

Both of the main performances are genius. Carey proves he can act just as well in a more serious movie. Kate Winslet character is just amazing, I instantly fell in love with her. There is also a side story involving the therapists Kirsnt Dursnt, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Wilkinson, which deals on the ethical view of doctors, patients and the treatments they use. Michael Gondry's direction is also five stars, with amazing landscape and screenplay. He has proved to be something else than a good music video director. Finally I would like to say this is the type of movie you will enjoy better if your significant other is by your side. Sometimes few bad moments make us forget the great ones we have spent.

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